November 3, 2009

My Sociological Imagination: Introducing Eric Anthony Grollman

It's a little overdue, but here it is... introducing one of Kinsey Confidential's new bloggers, Eric Anthony Grollman!

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It’s a little overdue, but here it is… introducing one of Kinsey Confidential’s new bloggers, Eric Anthony Grollman!  Over a month ago, Bradley Blankenship introduced himself, so Eric is finally following suit.

A Bit Of Background

Hi!  I’m Eric, a Ph.D. student and associate instructor in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University.  This and next semester, I’m teaching Sexual Diversity at IU, and my research focuses primarily on sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, and social psychology.  Outside of my teaching and research, I volunteer at a local homeless day-shelter, Shalom Community Center, and will soon begin rape prevention presentations in local schools for Middle Way House‘s Building Healthy Relationships program.

My Perspective

I’m being trained as a sociologist, though I received undergraduate training in psychology and gender studies as well.  So, for the most part, I bring to Kinsey Confidential a view of the world that relies on a sociological imagination; that is, I see the lives and experiences of individuals as being shaped by larger social processes, similar to the second-wave feminist mantra, “the personal is political.”  In my research, teaching, and understanding of the world in general, I make sense of problems in individuals’ lives as tied to larger social systems – racism, heterosexism, capitalism, patriarchy, and other big social forces that exist before we are born and continue to exist after we die.  A great example of a sociological approach to sexuality is sexual scripting theory – the “script” that people follow when they have sex isn’t something they’ve come up on their own, rather society has a script already laid out for us to follow.  (Think of the first base, second base, third base, home run lineup!)

My Research

There are two things in particular that find absolutely fascinating.  The first is how our sexual identities shape our view of the world and our everyday lives.  Right now, I’m completing a project that compares the social attitudes of heterosexuals and lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.  The second thing is the perspective that views our multiple identities, like race, gender, sexuality, religion, as intersecting and mutually influencing.  (I’ve written about this view, called intersectionality, in my call for a more inclusive view of sexuality and in a review of a recent study on relationship values.)  I will certainly be doing some research of this nature in the near future.

So, keep an eye out for my blogs!  I’m not the only blogger coming from a sociological perspective on Kinsey Confidential, but fortunately, we all have different interests and some differences in the way we view the world!